2016 Florida Statutes
(1) The Legislature finds that, in general, Florida springs whether found in urban or rural settings, public parks, or private lands, are threatened by actual and potential flow reductions and declining water quality. As a result of climate patterns and population changes, over the past 30 years, many of Florida’s springs have begun to exhibit signals of distress, including increasing nutrient loading and lowered water flow. The groundwater that feeds springs is recharged by seepage from the surface and through direct conduits such as sinkholes.
(2) The Legislature further finds that springs and groundwater once damaged by overuse can be restored through good stewardship, including effective planning strategies and best management practices to preserve and protect the spring and its springshed. Prudent land use planning decisions can protect and improve quality and quantity, as well as upland resources of a springshed. Managing land use types and their allowable densities and intensities of development, followed by specific site planning to further minimize impacts, rank as an important goal.
(3) It is the intent of the Legislature that the recommendations of the Wekiva River Basin Coordinating Committee as stated in its final report dated March 16, 2004, be taken and implemented as a whole to achieve the objective of improving and assuring protection of surface water and groundwater resources. Coordination of comprehensive plans and the Regional Water Supply Plan is important for protection of water resources and to promote the continuity of effective planning and development.
(4) It is not the intent of the Legislature to place an undue burden on local governments within the Wekiva Study Area. Any required Wekiva Study Area comprehensive plan amendments may be adopted in conjunction with other amendments not required by this part.
History.—s. 1, ch. 2004-384.